FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY, this Thursday, we celebrate the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord, known to us as NEW YEAR’S DAY, a holy day of obligation. Masses will be celebrated on New Year’s Eve at 4:00 and New Year’s Day at 9:00 and 11:00 AM. The rectory office will be closed from Noon Tuesday, Dec. 30 through the weekend. We will reopen for regular office hours on Monday, January 5. This will allow staff and priests to continue to enjoy the holiday season with family and friends.
I could not believe my eyes a few weekends ago when I went back to the CHRISTMS GIVING TREE after the first weekend it was put up. There were NO ANGEL ORNAMENTS on the tree. That meant that over 700 angels were taken and 700 gifts were purchased for the poor and those less fortunate of our area. I am so very proud of all of you who participated. Throughout my months here with you I am constantly amazed at the generosity of OLV Parishioners coming to the aid of so many charities. This speaks so highly of our parish as a light shining on a hill, as Jesus says we all should be. Thank you all so much for your love and kindness. The gifts will be taken and used by Catholic Charities, Strawberry Fields, Hearthside Nursing Home, ARC, Centre House, Gabriel Project and OLV School Families. I want to thank Pam Scott, Mary Ann Spychalski, Bob and Mary Hershey and the Hershey family and the Family Life Committee for coordinating this event. I am sure Christmas was just a bit brighter for many persons in our community. May God bless you all for showing the true meaning of Christmas.
As I look back over our Christmas celebrations I am grateful to all who made them so very special. I want to THANK the music directors, choirs, instrumentalists, and cantors for helping us fully participate in the liturgies and grow spiritually through the music. I want to thank the ushers, lectors, altar servers and Eucharistic Ministers for their ministry to the parish in helping the service run smoothly. I want to thank all those who helped to decorate the church. Once again, it looks absolutely beautiful, helping us through the senses to delve deeply into the mystery of God made man. Thanks to all those who cleaned the church in preparation for the celebrations and to those who helped set up the gym for the 4:00 Christmas Eve Mass. It takes many people to help in making sure the parish operates smoothly and I am blessed to have so many who willingly give of themselves. Again, may God bless you all for being a wonderful parish.
And on a personal note, I want to THANK all those who sent the priests well wishes through Christmas cards and those who sent is cookies, cakes, nut and poppy seed rolls (my favorite) and candy. Unfortunately, I enjoyed them too much, so much so, that I have to hit the Nordic Trac once gain this New Year and for a longer time. Thank you all for taking the time to remember your priests at this time of year.
Due to the early publishing date for the bulletin, I will comment on our PARISH CHRISTMAS PARTY in a future bulletin. But in anticipation of the party, I looked forward to spending time with all of you in a relaxed, enjoyable environment. As you read these words, the party was a week ago. I hope everyone had a great time!
HUMOR FOR THE WEEK – “Thanks for the electric guitar you gave me for Christmas," little Chris Cody said to his uncle the first time he saw him after the holidays. "It's the best present I ever got." "That's great," said his uncle. "Do you know how to play it?" "Oh, I don't play it," the little fellow said. "My mom gives me a dollar a day not to play it during the day and my dad gives me five dollars a week not to play it at night.